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What does success look like? Let’s be honest, success is hard. Not complicated, just hard. As there’s no better way to succeed than to learn from the best, we have outlined the top 10 characteristics of successful people.

So, what characteristics do successful people have in common?:

1. They are passionate.

In life, there are two types of people: strivers and seekers. Strivers know what they want to do early on, whereas seekers have to discover what they love. Before you can achieve success, you will have to define what success means to you.

As a fit pro, having a passion for what you do has never been more relevant. Not only will it help keep you motivated and inspired but, more importantly, it will have a direct impact on your clients. The best fit pros exude passion and energy.

2. They are ambitious.

Successful fit pros have desire and determination. They set clear goals and strive to achieve them. They believe in themselves, their companies, their products and services, and their customers.

In order to be successful, you need to constantly strive for more and stay ahead of the competition. It means focusing on how you can better yourself. Ongoing education, coaching and mentoring helps you remain on top of your game.

3. They set achievable goals.

Successful fit pros wake up and they’ve already planned their day. Their goals are ambitious, yet attainable, and are aligned with their strengths. They will invest all of their efforts in ensuring they achieve the outcome they desire.

It’s very easy to get swept away with day-to-day activities and not focus on the big picture. As you would with your clients, take time to set short-, medium-, and long-term goals for yourself.

4. They go above and beyond.

Simply fulfilling their job description isn’t enough. They are constantly looking for new opportunities to enable them to grow and stand out from the crowd. They don’t turn up for work five minutes before; they get there early. They plan, they prepare, they execute.

“One particular example that always springs to my mind is, early in my career as a general manager, I interviewed an 18-year-old boy for a role as a fitness coach. He was probably the least experienced of all the candidates, but there was just something about him. I gave him a shot and he did not disappoint. Every single day he went above and beyond, exceeding both the members’ and my own expectations. I worked with him for more than five years and he went from strength to strength, constantly investing in his own learning and development while proactively seeking support and training. He progressed from a fitness coach to a PT then onto sales, management, and now he runs his own successful coaching business and is a well-known influencer.”

5. The best fit pros are always learning.

They understand the importance of investing in their own education, enabling them to learn, improve and evolve. Successful people aren’t afraid to try new activities and fail at them. They focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses.

Every year, invest time and money in your own education and development, but be smart. Focus on your strengths and choose courses that enhance your current offering and are closely aligned with your values and specialties.

6. They work hard and play hard.

Success doesn’t come easily and it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but it also needs to be fun. Having an 80/20 split is a good guideline; 80% of your work should be enjoyable and the remaining 20% should consist of the not-so-fun stuff. Implementing this simple rule can really make a difference and help you avoid burnout.

In the fitness industry, we don’t usually struggle with the 80%; it comes naturally.

We struggle with the 20%! Most fit pros often neglect the tasks they don’t enjoy – tasks such as admin and new business generation often fall by the wayside. Don’t let these tasks build up; instead, allocate one to two hours per day for these.

7. They are creative.

Successful people are constantly innovating. They understand that the world is always changing and they must stay ahead of the curve. They are always coming up with new ideas, searching for the next big thing, and evolving the way they do things.

Are you still delivering the same old sessions or classes to your clients? Make sure you are constantly incorporating new exercises, training techniques or music to keep things fresh. Use the knowledge and experience you have gained as part of your personal development and share this with your clients.

8. They are persistent.

Successful fit pros understand that things don’t come easily. They make their own luck. Failure is inevitable; whether it’s making mistakes or facing rejection, it’s how you deal with it that determines your future success.

Whether it is losing a job, a client, or one of your regular classes, don’t let these things knock you down. Instead, focus on what you can do differently and learn from your mistakes.

9. They are courageous.

To be successful, you have to step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Remember, growth and comfort don’t co-exist. The two biggest enemies to our success are fear and doubt. Confront your fears and doubts head on and you’ll be surprised what you can achieve.

10. They are accountable.

They take ownership and responsibility for their own actions. They constantly reflect and evaluate, and subsequently take the necessary steps to ensure they are successful. They own up to their mistakes and immediately think of ways that they can improve next time, never making the same mistake twice.

Unfortunately, there is no true overnight success or quick win, but by encompassing these characteristics, you are taking the first step in becoming successful. Remember, hard work, dedication and perseverance will prevail.

About the author

Alina Cooper is the founder of FitLinks, as well as a number of other businesses including GetSetGo! and Matuta Consultancy Group. FitLinks is a revolutionary online recruitment solution for the health and fitness sector. So much more than just an online job board, its highly intuitive system takes the hassle out of recruiting, and intelligently matches you with your dream job or candidates.

Alina has more than 15 years of experience in the health and fitness sector at both board and management level. Over the years, she has gained a wide knowledge of all aspects of recruitment, health and fitness management, solutions provision, product sales, international training, events and project management, combined with a record of success in change management, sales and profit growth, customer service and multi-site management.

To learn more about FitLinks, head over to